""I wanted to rebel against the traditional patterns of current poetry, even in Panama, misfortunately, but I don’t know if I have achieved it...some of my verses seem too ingenuous, too simple; some others seem a bit confusing: but that’s the state at which they were in mi soul and I have expressed them wholeheatedly..."
Rogelio Sinán is the pseudonim of Bernardo Domínguez Alba. ( "The idea was tohave a unique name, thee are hundreds of Dominguez and I wanted to be alone in the phone book.") Sinan was born in the island of Taboga on April 25, 1904*. He traveled to Santiago, Chile to broaden his future as a student at the Pedagogical Institute and his relationship with writers who would later succeed in the Chilean and universal arts. From 1925 to 1930 studies Art at the Universidad La Sapienza in Rome.
In 1929 he publishes his first book of verses called Onda, which was the flagship of the vanguardist movement in Panama. The book is the blosoming of juvenil development within the patters of puer poetry. The author seeks to find the essence of things, sorprising with boldness, without masks that would hide them.
Balad of the naked breast
Oh!...A ripe one...!
(She leaped...and out came
her naked breast!).
In 1944 he publishes Incendio (Fire), a poem originated from a fire that occured nearby his house.
Soundless, speechless sireens
a silent chant audible only by death
which pierced agonies into the night.
"It was three in the morning. I stuck apiece of paper in the typewriter and wrote these three verses. After reading them I felt more at ease, less guilty. I realized I needed to expell my guilt lyrically, create the poem to form a catarsis, purification; it was then when I wrote the poem at once. I laid crossway on the bed I fell soundly asleep."(Lotería,110-11)
A year later, in 1945, Sinan publishes his poem book Semana Santa en la Niebla (Holy Week in the Fog) with which he earned the National Poetry Award. “With a style different from Onda , Semana Santa en la Niebla is the transformation of reality into a crature of art, as authentic or even more authentic than the model, is the adaptation of Jesus christ’s life to natural phenomena."
Hsi shape above the water
A la hora equidistante del pez amanecido
con la primera espuma de la mañana, flota,
como un presentimiento de bostezo sahíno,
su forma sin aristas, deshilachada, fofa.
Flota, digo, la niebla, crispada de ladridos,
amarrando en las jarcias elásticas gaviotas.
Y al recoger el hombre su red, semidormido,
quizá tema al espectro que va sobre las olas.
In 1969 he publishes Saloma sin salomar which is a compilation of his poetry from his second book and others. Sinan’s poetry work is short since he did not practiced it regularly, but his teaching has been fruitfull. “He is skilfull with verses, sensible for delicate things, has an imaginative and cultural reach and love for the arts."
*Similarly as his change in name, Sinan also changed his birthday (to appear legally as Panamanian), thus, in most biographies it states 1904 as his birth year..
Poety Bibliography: Onda, Incendio, Semana Santa en la Niebla, Saloma sin salomar.